A shared conceptual framework for collaborative software would provide
a common vocabulary for thinking about and discussing these tools, and
would also reveal opportunities for standardization. In order to
create this framework, we need to identify the commonalities between
different collaborative applications.
This is ambitious but very important work. In a followup post on his weblog, Eugene replies to some objections and explains how his group is approaching the problem:
approach is to mine for patterns of effective collaboration and to
disseminate these patterns widely via a PatternLanguage.